Yesterday, Discover Financial Services' (NYSE:DFS) share price gained $0.32, or 1.39 percent, to close at $23.27. Yesterday's closing price compares with its 52-week range of $13.33 to $25.76. DFS' current stock price ($23.27) is within 15 percent of the 52-week high ($25.76). This a positive sign as the stock price is potentially
close to breaking out to a new high on above average volume. So, should you invest in DFS?
How DFS generates revenue?
DFS, formerly a business segment of Morgan Stanley, is a credit card issuer and electronic payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank
subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories.
The company manages its operations through two business segments: direct banking and payments services. The direct banking segment is the major contributor to the company, in terms of income before income taxes. The payments services segment is modestly profitable but continues to comprise a growing portion of DFS's income stream.
Comparison with competitors
DFS competes with card issuers and banks such as American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), and Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF). At the May 24 Barclays Capital Americas Select Conference, DFS' management said that it benefits from a strong loyal customer base who recommend the company's cards to their friends. The company based its assertion on a 4Q-2010 Brand Tracker study, done by MillwardBrown. In fact that study puts DFS cards on par with American Express cards and above the cards issued by JPM, C, BAC, and COF. The company claims that its cards show highest average tenure in the industry. It is easy to see why DFS cards are more recommended by its customers.